CRIT*: Half n’ Half

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Richard Baird will be contributing to The Dieline to cultivate our next Opinion Series: CRIT* tell us how you really feel. This Designer & Blogger will share a critique on packaging that merits discussion in addition to the weekly post that receives the most traffic. Read about Richard and check out his first CRIT* below. Be sure to come back (at least) every Tuesday to read Richard's CRIT* on the top post of the week!

Half n Half, owned by fruit juice manufacturer Snapple, an American brand that began selling to New York health food stores back in 1972, is a fruit tea product made from green and black tea leaves and infused with fruit flavours. As part of an extension to their diet range, Snapple commissioned Texas based independent brand communication agency Hilliebrandandcory, working in collaboration with freelance designer and illustrator Tad Carpenter to develop their new packaging treatments.

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The question we were asked was how do we visually show one tea that is using multiple flavors? HillebrandCory liked the idea of two creatures creating a whole. So we ran with the idea of the top half of the packaging being the fruit flavor monster and the bottom half the tea aspect of the drink. Super fun project, super fun packaging. -Taken from the Tad Carpenter’s blog

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The concept, a simple take on the french game Exquisite Corpse, (the assembly of different images to create an unusually contrasting but complete form) is a smart device that suitably communicates and visually analogises the product’s proposition. The characters feel collectively well executed, interesting and individually unique with an illustrative style reminiscent of classic children's books (The Gruffalo and Where The Wild Things Are comes to mind) that delivers a warm familiarity.

The bright colour palette of the top half of the label reinforces variety differentiation and neatly juxtaposes the natural, earthy tones of the lower half, a detail that functions well as a visual anchor across the range. Combined, these manage to communicate bold flavour but not at the expense of a ‘genuine’ health based brand expression.

The type construction and layout appear to be intentionally loose with a nonconformity that fits well with the idea of spliced monsters and unexpected, quirky flavours. The black type container has a ‘censored’ aesthetic quality that leaves the mind imaging the central part of the monsters and feels a little more ‘adult’ in its ideation.

Overall the packaging feels playful, conceptually relevant to the product and sophisticated enough in its execution to appeal to a broad market.

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Opinion by Richard Baird

 Richard Baird is a British freelance design consultant based in Prague, CZ who specialises in logo, brand and packaging design. He has written for Design Week, featured in Computer Arts magazine and runs the design blogs BP&O and Design Survival.

Richard studied Furniture and Product design for fours years and worked as a freelance furniture designer for a further two. Over this period he developed an interest in packaging and branding building a portfolio of small commercial projects in his free time before finally moving full-time into brand and packaging design.

He has worked across a variety of industries predominantly helping new companies brand and package their new products and services. Notable projects include work for Fiskars UK, Imperial and Gallo Wines. He writes daily for his blog BP&O while curating tips to help new designers for his site Design Survival.

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